•   
  •   
  •   

Weekend Reads Thailand's trapped boys: careless or courageous?

23:00  06 july  2018
23:00  06 july  2018 Source:   reuters.com

A Daring Plan to Rescue Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Is Starting to Take Shape

  A Daring Plan to Rescue Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Is Starting to Take Shape A Daring Plan to Rescue Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Is Starting to Take ShapeEarlier this week, 12 Thai boys from a youth soccer team and their coach were discovered by diving experts trapped in an air pocket deep within a submerged cave system. Water levels within the cave complex aren’t expected to drop for months, but a daring plan to rescue the boys is now rapidly taking shape.

Video provided by USA Today

Round-the-clock efforts by rescue teams in Thailand to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave have prompted some Thais to turn to social media to ask why they went in at all, and whether they deserve to be called heroes.

The junior soccer players, who disappeared in the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai on June 23, were discovered on Monday by British divers in a partially flooded chamber.

FIFA boss invites Thai cave boys to World Cup final

  FIFA boss invites Thai cave boys to World Cup final FIFA boss invites Thai cave boys to World Cup finalInfantino said he hoped the Wild Boars team, who were stranded by rising floodwaters two weeks ago, would be rescued in time to watch the final in Moscow on July 15.

News of the survival of the "Wild Boar" team sparked celebrations and relief among Thais transfixed by the drama, following every twist and turn of a search that has drawn worldwide attention and volunteers from Australia to Finland.

The furore provoked plenty of opinions on social media, particularly on a Facebook page called "Drama-addict" that is popular among Thais and has 2 million followers.

Some criticized what they saw as the group's recklessness.

"There was a big sign outside the cave but they still went in. They should be scolded," said one person on the popular website Pantip.com.

Others appeared to criticize the team's assistant coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, who went along on the expedition after a soccer practice. But "Coach Ek" had his defenders too.

Thais fight water and oxygen levels in cave as diver dies

  Thais fight water and oxygen levels in cave as diver dies Thais fight water and oxygen levels in cave as diver diesMAE SAI, Thailand — Thai authorities overseeing the rescue operation for 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in the country's north said they have a "limited amount of time" to get them out, as they raced Friday against worsening weather and lowered oxygen levels in the underground complex.

"Coach Ek acted responsibly in his capacity as an adult and a coach to take care of the children's lives and well-being," said one user.

Some urged forgiveness for the boys, aged between 11 and 16.

Water pumps arrive at the entrance to the cave on July 6, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. © Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images Water pumps arrive at the entrance to the cave on July 6, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

"When we were kids we weren't much better than this ... we probably also did things that disappointed our parents. We should not praise them but forgive them," said one user.

DON'T TAKE SIDES

There has been little official criticism of the boys' actions while rescuers struggle to decide how best to extricate them from the flooded cave complex, as most of them cannot swim.

Last week, Damrong Hanpakdeeniyom, the head of the forest park where the cave complex is located, said visitors were usually barred from venturing in more than about 700 m (2,300 ft).

"Inside it is very dark ... and if it rains between July and December then we close it," Damrong said. "This group went in further than allowed."

Other Thais commented on the expanding scope of the rescue, which risks becoming unmanageable as more volunteers turn up and the media spotlight grows.

It could take weeks to bring the team to safety, and the death of a volunteer diver on Friday underscored the risks.

"You went in and in the end, other people have to run around trying to find you," a user posted on Pantip.com, in comments that aimed at the group. "Soldiers, SEALS and villagers to pump water for you."

The criticism spurred the Department of Mental Health to beg Thais not to take sides.

"The families should focus on proper parenting while society should not judge whether this was wrong or right but take this as an opportunity to learn," it said in a statement, promising counseling for the boys once freed.

'Crazy Rich Asians' Director Eyes Thai Cave Rescue Movie .
'Crazy Rich Asians' Director Eyes Thai Cave Rescue MovieWith the Thai cave rescue still fresh in people's minds, Hollywood is steaming ahead with big-screen adaptations of the dramatic story, with two declared projects now in development.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!